With a range of 60miles, Vespa’s new Elettrica scooter, available towards the end of Autumn 2018 in the UK, promises environmentally-friendly travel for city commuters, in a very traditional design.
The motor can deliver a continuous 2kW, or a peak of 4kW, with a claimed torque of over 147lb-ft (200Nm) – performance better than a petrol-powered 50cc scooter thanks to the immediate torque of electric propulsion. Besides the obvious emissions benefits, Piaggio is keen to stress that its Elettrica will help quieten the noise of city centres.
While we look forward to testing it, Vespa claims that the new machine ‘guarantees’ its maximum range thanks to the lithium-ion battery that recharges during deceleration, and simply plugs into a standard wall socket for a full charge in four hours. Both the motor and battery require no maintenance, and the power pack is good for 1000 full charging cycles, which Vespa says translates to around 30,000-45,000 miles – about 10 years of use. After 1000 cycles, the cells will hold a maximum of around 80% of their original charge, reducing range to about 50miles.
The battery is small enough that there’s still enough room for an open-face helmet under the seat. There are two modes – Eco, which limits speed to 19mph (30km/h) while delivering smoother acceleration for the best battery life, and Sport, which gives full power and a reduced range.
A TFT dash displays speed, riding mode, range remaining and battery charge. Notifications of calls and messages can also be displayed by connecting your smartphone.
The Vespa Elletrica X, which doesn’t have an expected date in dealers yet, offers a range of up to 120miles by incorporating a petrol generator with three litre fuel-tank. The battery in this bike has a range of 30 miles, with petrol-power boosting it by a further 90, starting automatically if the charge level drops too far, or the rider selects ‘Extender’ mode.